Matt Dawson will play the Commonwealth Games with protective glasses on his badly injured eye.His future’s so bright that he may need a pair of glasses to see on the hockey field.
But that’s not the only reason Kookaburras young gun Matt Dawson will be sporting some new goggles in this week’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Dawson has been cleared to play – only if he wears the prescriptive glasses – for ‘s men’s hockey team despite being yet to fully recover from a sickening eye injury last month.
It is believed the training incident was so traumatising that audio was deleted from the vision showing him almost bursting an eyeball after getting hit by a hockey stick.
Dawson was initially gutted to have been ruled out of the Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia, before realising that his entire career flashed before whatever was left of his eyes.
“It hit home quickly how serious it was,” Dawson told AAP.
“There were things down the track that I might not have been able to do.
“From the reports that the surgeon said, and specialists and doctors I’ve seen, I’ve nearly defied all odds to be where I am today.”
The defender has spent the past month acclimatising to his new look, complete with black and gold frames that are sure to make him stand out during the Games.
He admits to struggling with what is the first major injury of his career, as well as utilising the same repellents cyclists use to get rid of water and sweat on their glasses.
He also has yet to actually open his left eye fully.
“But I can still see, which is a positive,” he said.
“It’s about three-quarters open.
“And the fact that we still don’t play for maybe five days is working in my favour.”
Dawson’s inclusion would be a boost for coach Colin Batch’s side after establishing himself as a key cog in defence with strong performances since the World League final last year.
“A freak accident really sets things back a bit, but I’m starting to gradually feel good about a major tournament at home. I can’t wait,” he said.
KOOKABURRAS’ COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCHEDULE
Saturday April 7 – v South Africa
Sunday April 8 – v Scotland
Tuesday April 10 – v Canada
Wednesday April 11 – v New Zealand
Friday April 13 – Semi-finals
Saturday April 14 – Medal matches